By Rachel, on August 19, 2010


So here we are. Mardi Gras has come and gone. We have survived a sinus infection, ear infection, stomach virus, fevers, new jobs, cat behavioral issues, Jazz Fest, the happy but completely unexpected (read: unprepared) month long visit from a dear friend and now we’re almost out of the long and sweltering Louisiana summer.

Today is the long promised tomorrow from part one.

I woke up one morning not too long ago and looked in the mirror and uttered an audible gasp. That kind of gasp that you read about in novels. The gasp that makes you think, “what bullshit. No one ever gasps out loud to themselves.” That gasp came out of my mouth.
What was that staring back at me in the mirror. Was it me? I have experience looking in the mirror and seeing my image flawed by a blemish or overgrown eyebrows or a rampant night of drinking but that morning it wasn’t that my image was flawed by any of these…it was that my image wasn’t flawed at all. On the contrary, it was one cohesive mug of ugliness (and for all you naysayers- ugliness is relative). In other words, instead of the flaw standing out like a sore thumb, I was hard put to find one agreeable feature in the whole entire landscape of my face!
I had planned to take Sir to storytime that morning but I couldn’t go outside looking like this.
Vanity? Insanity? Maybe. For the Greater Good? Definitely.

The Greater Good.

The Greater Good as defined by my partner in crime P. means you’re wearing make-up, washing your hair, applying deodorant, all for society more than for yourself. It’s not about creating a fresh new look- the boho – the preppie – the equestrian – it’s about trying not to seriously offend the poor people on the street when you go outside. Some might say, “F**k the people”. I’m not that someone. I care about that nice librarian girl that smiles at Sir and that has to look at my face and moreover, in about three or four years, Sir is going to give a sh*t about my appearance since, to him, I will only be an extension of him in his world.
For those of you who say “Pshaw! What nonsense!” – I say, “nonsense, not!”
Perhaps I can blame it on my father, or hell, I could blame it on an entire country and its idiosynchracies. Colombia, Colombians, my father – to all of these individuals, cleanliness is next to godliness, followed closely by good grooming and appearance.
In my adolesence, I rebelled and delighted in trampling on all of these importants for my father and mother. I relished punk rock slovenliness. I dated boys with green hair in mohawks. I sat on floors and swept the streets of NYC with a pair of jeans that now make my Mama cells quiver in fright. I wanted Sid Vicious to be my boyfriend.
But that was then. And youth is forgiven all. So is fresh facedness. And I, my friends, am neither fresh faced nor young. In fact, I now find myself occupying the once dreaded, but now much loved role of motherhood. And though it is loved, it has certainly thrown me for a loop.
I don’t want to bore you again talking about how this motherhood thing coupled with the mid-thirties has simulated a second adolesence — What to wear – what to say – what to do — but it has!
So back to the make-up and my fumbling misadventures. 
After trying to find a foundation that would:

  1. match my skin
  2. not send screaming signals that I’m wearing make-up
  3. not deplete my already depleted wallet

I have settled on using Almay’s Smart Shade Smart Balance in medium (the light shade made me look like a bad geisha) in combination with Bare Escentuals foundation powder. The powder seems to work well though sometimes in certain lighting it does have a “powdered look” to it which I’m not crazy about. But then again, I never wore foundation til now. Also with this Louisiana heat and the profuse sweating I am involved in, I’ve been only using the Almay which delivers a sheer coverage. Sheer meaning that 3/4ths instead of all of your imperfections shine through. Sigh.
The result?
Though I still feel like some overgrown ugly duckling that could seriously benefit from a series of Mario Badescu facials, peels, and creams…I, at least, feel I’m making an effort. And isn’t that the whole point behind the Little Engine? I think I can I think I can I think I can…..

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